In the four months to January, commercial broadcaster Carlton Communications saw its ad revenue on independent network ITV drop 5% compared to the same period the year before, revealed chairman Michael Green.

Speaking at Carlton’s annual meeting, Green explained: “The UK television advertising market is currently subdued compared to last year’s buoyant levels,” adding that the industry would probably not see like-for-like growth “before the fourth quarter of Carlton's financial year”.

Nevertheless, despite concerns over a softening ad market, Green also forecast that Carlton was heading for 2001 ad bookings totalling almost £1 billion.

ITV also had some badly needed good news – its share of viewers over the first seven weeks of 2001 rose 1% on last year to 38.6%, a full 12% ahead of main rival BBC1.

News source: The Times (London); Financial Times